Wine and Candy Pairing #4

The following post is sponsored by Gnarly Head Wines. Each week in October, we’ll be matching one of their varietals with a classic Halloween candy. After all, you’re going to need a game plan to get rid of the leftovers after the trick-or-treaters have gone home (or for raiding your little darlings’ take when they’ve gone to bed!) And Gnarly Head wines are just right for getting you in the Halloween “spirits” (pun intended).

Ask people about Chardonnay, and you are pretty much Constitutionally guaranteed to hear them mention two words enthusiastically: “buttery” and “oaky.”

First, let’s talk about the butter. No, there’s not actually butter in your Chard (unless you’re making a beurre blanc sauce for dinner). But it smells like there’s buttered popcorn nearby.

I’m not going to bore you with the Big Technical Explanation why. But the next time your kid needs a project for the school science fair, suggest they recreate malolactic fermentation. Just get some grapes, crush them and—just kidding.

Moving on, then. A basic food/wine pairing principle is to match the weight of the food to the weight of the wine.

Chardonnays—like some red wines—can be aged in or with oak wood, which gives them definite tastes and aromas of butterscotch, vanilla, and coconut. They also tend to be heavy-bodied, which means they feel kind of weighty in your mouth.

So when you’re enjoying Gnarly Head Chardonnay, with its flavors of pineapple, forsythia and goldenrod flowers, and tart green apple, you’re going to need something more substantial than garden-variety candy corn.

And that means Twix bars in all their buttery caramel, chocolatey shortbread cookie goodness. Gnarly Head Chard + all that? Think of that fall favorite—a decadent caramel apple. Yep, that’s what you’re going to enjoy when you get these two together. Or, put the Twix in the freezer for 15 minutes for more of a pineapple upside down cake experience. Better yet, do both and see for yourself. Ever wonder why there were two Twix in the pack? Well, now you know.

Melanie is a blogger and Content Editor for wine recommendation website, A member of the Boston Sommelier Society, Melanie holds the designations of Certified Specialist of Wine; Level 1 sommelier from the Guild of Sommeliers; and the Advanced Certificate with Merit from the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust. She educates wine lovers as a guide for City Wine Tours in Boston and via her blog, Kiss My Glass Boston. She also has a collection of handbags that can carry two or more wine bottles just in case she happens upon a wine she can’t resist.